Tag Archives: rubrics

January 26 Canvas Release

Canvas is updated every third Saturday with new features and fixes. The Macomb CTL posts highlights from the production release notes and related content to our blog at emacomb.com.  Please contact us at ctlsupport@macomb.edu if you have any questions about Canvas releases.

January 26 Release

Please view the New Feature Screencast for a demonstration of the updates in this release:



Rubric Comments Enhancement

Instructors may now add comments to rubric criteria directly from SpeedGrader.

This update will allow instructors to edit their rubric comments while using the same rubric to grade assignments in SpeedGrader.

Note that this update refers to comments on the rubric criteria, not comments on the student’s assignment.


Learning Outcome Mastery

NOTE: This update only applies for instructors and students who have opted into the Learning Mastery Gradebook.  Please contact us at ctlsupport@macomb.edu if you’d like to test this feature.

The total score for a particular learning outcome in a course will now be displayed if at least one of the assignments does not have hidden point values.

For example, because all asignments’ point values are hidden in the rubric for Week 7 Journal, you do not see X /5 – only Mastered or Not Mastered.

This change will make it easier to view a student’s progress towards mastery when at least one of the outcome’s assignments shows a point value.


Moderated Grading: Assignments Editable by Viewer

NOTE: The Moderated Grading feature is not yet active at the Macomb institutional level. Please contact us at ctlsupport@macomb.edu if you’d like to test this feature.

If your assignment uses Moderated Grading, any grader who is able to view the Grade Summary page will now able to edit the assignment.

This update will allow graders who have not been designated by the instructor as the final grader to edit assignments. This will simplify the process for nonfinal and noninstructor graders to modify assignment details throughout the course.

The complete production release notes for this release are available on the Canvas LMS Community.


The next Canvas release will be deployed Saturday, February 16, with release notes available Monday, February 4.


Images on this page are from the Canvas Guides, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Agreement.

Canvas Production Release: July 14

Canvas is updated every third Saturday with new features and fixes. The Macomb CTL will post highlights from the production release notes and related content to our blog at ctl.emacomb.com.  Please contact us at ctlsupport@macomb.edu if you have any questions about Canvas releases. 

July 14 Release

Please view the New Feature Screencast for a video demonstration of the updates in this release.


Anonymous Moderated Grading
  • Requires enabling by Canvas admin  – contact CTL if interested
  • Anonymous Grading – graders are unable to view students’ names
  • Moderated Grading – instructor can set assignment submissions to be reviewed by one or more graders, and which grade should be made final
  • Please see the official Canvas documentation of this feature for complete details and discussion
Anonymous Moderated Grading

Instructor sees anonymous students and graders, with option to choose final grade

Anonymous and moderated

Assignment submissions can be moderated, anonymous, or both.


Non-Scoring Rubrics
  • Must be enabled by a Canvas admin – contact CTL if interested
  • Create a rubric without point values to promote learner engagement and interaction with ungraded activities
  • See the official feature documentation for further details
Non scoring rubric in Speedgrader

Example of instructor view of non-scoring rubric within SpeedGrader. Points column is used for verbal feedback.


Self-registered Courses: Pair Students with Observers
  • Observer does not need to know student’s username or password
  • Student can click Pair with Observer button to generate a six-digit code to share with their intended Observer (most often a parent, mentor, or guest) who enters the code in their own User Settings.
  • Please see the official Canvas document on the Observer role for more information on its permissions and restrictions.

Pairing code button


Full production release notes for the July 14 release are available on the Canvas LMS Community. 


Future Updates

The next production release is scheduled for Saturday, August 4. Please see the Canvas Releases page for Production Release Notes, available on Monday, July 23.

Canvas Updates January 2018

Welcome back to a new year and a new term. The Macomb CTL is here to support you in developing productive and rewarding courses for your students.

Let’s take a look at the Canvas releases of January 6 and February 3.

The New Gradebook

The major change is that the New Gradebook is now available for instructors to turn on in your courses. This can be done from the Settings page in the left-side course navigation menu. Then click on the Feature Options tab to see the New Gradebook toggle switch (see image below).

Some of the differences in the new gradebook include:

  • New menus for more settings and sorting options.
  • Late and missing flags with automatic deduction policies.
  • More filtering options.

new gradebook

Do be aware that if you turn the New Gradebook on and then turn on automatic grading for late or missing assignments, you will not be able to return to the “old” Gradebook unless you deactivate the late/missing automatic grading policies.

We invite you to test out the New Gradebook and familiarize yourself with its look and feel before it permanently replaces the current gradebook. We’ll continue to update you well in advance of the launch date as we get more information from Canvas. The New Gradebook will officially launch in the second quarter of 2018. At this point, the old (current) Gradebook will be retired.

More information about the New Gradebook can be found at:

Additional January 6 Updates

Please see the New Feature Screencast for a video demonstration of the updates in the January 6 release:

The Release Notes contain a complete documentation of the release.

One notable update is the ability to add extra credit points to your rubric criteria in SpeedGrader.

Rubric extra points

You may find this method useful for adding extra credit to assignments that use rubrics.

Additional January 27 Updates (delayed to Feb 3)

See the screencast of new features below, and also see the full documentation in the Production Release Notes. 


There’s also a change in the DocViewer mode of SpeedGrader. Now you can make free-floating annotations anywhere on the page, with either a white or transparent background.

Docviewer Free Text

The next Canvas release after February 3 will be February 17, and it can be previewed on the beta server starting February 5.

We wish you the best for the Winter semester. Please contact us at 586-226-4774 with any questions you may have, and don’t forget to look over the CTL Winter 2018 Professional Development booklet for any workshops that may interest you.

Canvas November 18 Release

The new Canvas release will go live this Saturday, November 18 – let’s take a look at some of the updates.

Rubric criterions can now be easily duplicated. This will save you some time in building rubrics in which several of your criterions are similar and only need a few words modified.

Rubrics Criterion Duplication Option

Just click +Criterion at the bottom of the Edit Rubric window and choose which criterion you want to duplicate.

You can also duplicate module items such as assignments, graded discussions, and pages. Select the Duplicate option from the Settings menu (gear) to the right of an item:

Modules Page Module Items Duplication Menu

The duplicated items include “Copy” in the title and are unpublished by default, so don’t forget to publish them if needed.

Canvas email notifications have been updated with responsive HTML and CSS design, which should improve the look of the emails on phones and devices with smaller screens. This replaces a fixed-width design that required scrolling on some devices.

Please see the Release Notes for detailed documentation of all the updates in this release.

The next release will be available in the beta environment on Monday,  November 27, and will go live in the production environment on Saturday, December 9.

We’d like to wish all of our faculty and students a happy Thanksgiving and to please contact us at 586-226-4774 with any questions about Canvas, course design, or professional development.

Canvas Production Release – October 7

Get ready for the new Canvas release, which premieres on Saturday, October 7. As always, you can preview the release before this date on the Canvas beta server.

The main update is the missing and late assignment labels have been removed from the student-facing submission details and Grades page. These labels were introduced in August and caused some confusion among students and debate among instructors on the definition of a “missing” assignment and the level of control instructors had over these labels. Instructors’ SpeedGrader view has not changed and will still show missing and late labels for online assignments.

Another new feature is the option to enter point ranges for the criteria of your rubrics. This option can be activated by clicking the Range checkbox under a criterion:

Rubric Range Checkbox

Rubric criterion ranges have also been available in Blackboard, and allow more flexibility and precision in assigning points to rubric-graded assignments.

Please see the Production Release Notes for a full description of all updates and bug fixes.

The New Feature Screencast gives a video presentation of the above changes:

The next Canvas production release will arrive on October 28 and can be previewed in beta mode starting October 16.

Please contact The Macomb CTL at 586-226-4774 if you have any questions about Canvas or other instructional technologies. We still have plenty of on-ground and online workshops lined up for the Fall term, so please see our Professional Development brochure and sign up for one today!